|Date:||23 Apr 2002 16:10:54 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Pentagon Environmental Proposals|
Dear Folks,The proposed change in CERCLA by the Pentagon is obscure to the point of being deceptive. However, the intent is very simple: Pollution of an "operational range", including the groundwater under it, by "explosives" or "constituents therein", would henceforth be permitted unless such pollution extended or migrated off the "operable range". See quoted sections below.
What this means, is that the military could fire artillery shells and rockets (whether or not such weapons were obsolete relative to any legitimate modern threat to the U.S. population) into an area up-stream of public drinking water supply wells, polluting groundwater flowing towards these wells.
Worse still, it appears that the proposed changes in environmental legislation would prevent any investigation of the groundwater under an operable range to determine whether training practices have caused the pollution of groundwater flowing towards a source of public drinking water.
You may think that the problem just analyzed poses only a hypothetical threat to the interests of U.S. citizens. Not so. It is easy to show that the Pentagon proposal is a tactical response to the actual conditions existing on Cape Cod.
Because of EPA mandated groundwater studies at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (and an ordered halt to any firing of rockets, mortars, and artillery), it was learned that explosive compounds, including RDX and perchlorates, had contaminated the underlying groundwater and were flowing towards supply wells and surface water bodies in the towns of Sandwich and Bourne. Monitoring wells subsequently were placed on the base boundary and as "sentinels" around four Bourne supply wells. Sequentially, perchlorates were detected at the base border, at the sentinel wells and in the supply wells, which have been shut down.
The town of Bourne, and Cape Cod as as whole, faces a crisis as cruel as that which could be caused by any enemy. Coupled with the current draught, the loss of supply wells from military pollution in Bourne, Falmouth and Sandwich, has produced an acute and long-term shortage in water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Moreover, since records have been kept, the area has experienced an extreme excess in age-adjusted cancer rates.
What follows is the actual text of the Pentagon's proposal: "(b)(1) Definition of Release. - (1) The term 'release,' as used in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), includes the deposit off an operational range, or the migration off an operational range, of any explosives, unexploded ordnance, munitions, munitions fragments, or constituents thereof. "(2) The term 'release,' as used in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), does not include the deposit or presence on an operational range of any explosives, unexploded ordnance, munitions, munitions fragments, or constituents thereof that are or have been deposited thereon incident to their normal and expected use. For a healthier and more peaceful world, Joel Feigenbaum -- Joel Feigenbaum 24 Pond View Drive E. Sandwich MA 02537 (508)-833-0144 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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